Friday Fictioneers: When in Rome…

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox. Click for Rochelle’s blog.

Genre: Micro Memoir
Word Count: 100


We flew to Brussels to visit friends in the municipality of Heist-op-den-Berg, a Belgian, Flemish community of 42,000. Brussels is an international big city to the south. This little area is pure Netherlander (Dutch) in language and a reserved, coldish, culture.

Rudy had said he liked American helpfulness and friendliness (speaking, holding doors, smiling, etc.) when he visited here.

I went for a run through town.

Seeing the surprised looks I got, instead of a wave and “good morning,” I got louder with “Howdy, y’all,” all smiles like I wanted to hug. The natives were plumb shocked. I loved it.


Look both ways trying to understand life, history, language, and culture.
Travel, learn, love, and mind the gaps.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do,
but “to thine own self be true.”

Click on Photo for more FF stories. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left his Belgian counterpart red-faced after he raced straight past his open arms to plant a smooch on the latter’s partner. Trudeau was among the world leaders attending the NATO summit in Belgium. The awkward moment took place as he arrived at a dinner in Brussels.}

 

Midweek Poetry:


When Love is not Enough

They thought it was indestructible.
A once mighty oak.
Then one day, there it lay—
one fragile, entropic stick, atrophied
by the dominance of green fire,
enraged temperament morphed
from past passions into
mislaid trust, then to castaway love,
and finally, to the pain of the end.

Did he willingly dance away from the fire?
Did the stepping turn of his heel find and
finally crush that last unwilling, wilting twig?
Was it he or she who stood in the dark,
alone, searching for some deeper truth
without understanding? Only able
to struggle against the monster’s eye,
leaning in against injury
from false charges and
intolerable miscreant treatment.

Had they become allergic to love?
Did they both just get lazy?
Whatever cannot be, simply isn’t.
Trust-based survival
needn’t be defended against
blows from the unbridled ax of envy.
Then—it was just the inevitable end,
when even love was not enough.


First, look both ways. Then, look all around.
Finally, mind the gaps and cut your losses.

Sammi’s Weekender #228 (portmanteau)

Click for Sammi’s Blog.

 


Little Blue Suitcase

Mom’s sister,
Lorry, was so apropos,
most correct old maid aunt
in navy blue turban with pin,
granny glasses,
self-assured in sensible shoes,
purse over left forearm,
her small portmanteau
gripped right,
I loved Lorry, now I know.
But then one day,
I had to let Lorry go.
Back then,
what the hell did I know,
long, long ago?


Look both ways, to the past for memories,
to the future for better days.
Mind the gaps in memory but hold on to what you can.

Midweek Poetry

My White Rabbit

I like beer, pizza, and poetry.
And those mysterious rabbit holes.

Poetry is to life
what hearing is to sound,
what thunder is to lightning, what love is
to marriage,
what sex is to love,
what water is to thirst.

I like dark beer, such poems
I love to hear. Poetry
is to me what color is to art.
It’s the butter
upon life’s devolving bread.

Poetry is to life as dreams
are to sleep, like light is for day,
poetry is rain ending a drought.

Life and poetry, infinity woven
together like two heads for sister.
A poem is my White Rabbit.

Life without poetry is sad,
dysfunctional and ignorant,
like breathing without air.
It lacks reason and purpose.

Poetry is as human as skin,
as thoughtful as mind, it goes
deep – beyond any abyss.

No culture is without poems.
The poem-less are like sailors
without songs or sirens,
poetry is a beacon for living,
it’s an eternity for the dead.

Not every poem is perfect, but poetry is
the ancient sound of a beautiful gift
waiting at the core of a newborn,
as the eye of a painter or a touch
of the sculptor forms art,
the words of the poets
are the pipes and drums of humanity.


Look both ways.
Be skeptical of all you see but shed foolish ignorance as soon as you smell it.
Mind the gaps. They didn’t put themselves there.

And this, just cuz I can…

Sammi’s Weekender #227 (ramshackle)

Click on this graphic for Sammi’s blog.

 


Revelation of Genesis

Deserted, dangerous
Ramshackle houses
Former family homes, once
Functional buildings,
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.

Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Cotton-farm acres.

Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Cemeteries. Unwanted,
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.

A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.


Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.

Sammi’s Weekender #226 (yard)

Click graphic for Sammi’s Blog

My Fantasy

Like old, faded white, torn, photographs
faces with names I forget, family
I never met. Dead people still
physically and mentally part me.
Memories. Pulpy puzzles without pieces.

Forgotten years of backyard child’s play
where I fell for the girl next door,
Tootie, older than I at three or five,
my first fetish. Desires I never
understood or confessed till now.

Grass, dirt, fences, porches,
clothes drying, neighbors.
My first snowman.
I remember her name,
how I felt, nothing else.
No Tootie photo.


Look both ways.
The past equals no future.
Mind the gaps and fill them with memories of whom.


 

dVerse Quadrille #135: Shake that Poem Groove Thang

https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/06/quadrille-135-shake-that-poem-groove-thang/


Top Guns Care

An odd pair were we.
Everyone’s friend, as
SpineRipper called me
(to rib my neutrality),
knowing I was his.

Navy fighter pilots,
tailhookers all.
JW, warrior to the core.
Taught me to call the ball
when in the groove.
We cried at kiss off.


Look both ways except on short final to your carrier.
Fly the ball, not the deck, and mind the gaps.
Aviators die here.

Gloss: Captain John (SpineRipper) Waples (USN) was my boss and friend (sort of). He was also one of the greats of Naval Aviation with 1,300+ aircraft carrier landings, 400 at night (a rumored record). He flew many combat missions. He was the original shock and awe combat leader.

I met him after we had both hung up our flight suits, although John still owned and  flew his own biplane (he called a kite). Wapes was an enigma to me. Blunt and easily angered (thus the call sign/nick name), yet amenable, and a man who seemed to care about people. We had little in common except for what seemed to be an honest mutual admiration that neither of us ever understood. I didn’t know until the end. I will never understand why. Call the ball, in the groove, and kiss-off are USN fighter pilot jargon.

dVerse Quadrille #132 (stream)

A forty-four word poem (plus title) written for dverse prompt of stream.


Pluvial Passion

Let me feel your kiss.
May your wet tongue lick.
Run into my eyes, down my face,
under my clothes,
over my body.

My passion, you pour copious streams
of love upon me.

Touch me where you can.

Where are you, my sweet Rain?

 


Look both ways for summer showers.
Mind the gaps between the drops.

Sammi’s Weekender #218 (tessellate)

Click above for Sammi’s blog.

Geometric Memory

It’s one of those words,
comforting to hear and speak.

To say as tongues touch teeth,
not lips, a fun word to think.

Fifty years since projected
mosaics, as she asked,
“Does this tessellate?” We
learned patterned meanings.

No use for the word, till now.
Yet, I remember the day and teacher
who taught me how polygons tessellate.


Look both ways teaching and learning lessons.
Memories are forever but mind the gaps for irretrievable loses.

Sammi’s Weekender #211 (nomenclature)

Click to go to Sammi’s blog

Handle With Care

Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge,
in the 10th of Poemcrazy said,
“in practical shoes, holding forth
with firm opinions”
were too many Sues.

Birthed and baptized, lacking
middle saintly nomenclature,
seeking to assert rightful independence,
Confirmation granted my pick,
Saint Bartholomew, a sub
for unsainted Bartley.

Mom had a fit. We fought.
She wanted Richard. I did not.
Constant embarrassment,
my lifelong reminder,
my middle moniker: John.
I wish I agreed to Richard,
at least a better memory.


Look both ways for better self-names. How often would we change?
I’m Dad, Opa, Mister Bill to some, cantankerous (and other adjectives)
Bill or Billy to the few.
Mind the gaps where we may only name things, pets, and kids.